Hind Rasheed’s Essay
For her English class, Hind Rasheed wrote an essay (linked at the end of this article) about hearing loss titled “Phonak.” She attends an American school in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
“This essay demonstrates how I was dealing with my own situation since I got my first Phonak hearing aids,” Rasheed says. “It views how I was and how I’ve become a more proud and successful person than ever. Moreover, it would be an inspiration for others to love and value themselves with embracing their case rather than hiding it.”
Rasheed has been wearing Phonak hearing aids since age three. Her opening statement represents the theme of her essay and how she navigated the uncertainty of living life with hearing loss:
“The sense of being different can make you struggle and experience intensely throughout your life. Sometimes this can make you get lost and shattered not knowing how to deal. Moreover, this innate scar will affect you completely in knowing more about your own world. Hearing impairment affected me medically, socially, and academically in negative and positive [ways].”
Rasheed wrote about finding a school placement that was right for her, advocating for herself, and finding hope.
Read more: Phonak hearing aids
Rasheed uses a variety of hearing assistive technology. The Bluetooth feature on her Phonak hearing aids is especially helpful for her. She also enjoys using the Phonak app on her phone. This allows her to adjust her hearing aids in a variety of ways.
Rasheed’s mother has been a huge support for her in a variety of ways. She inspires her and always checks in while Rasheed is in different situations.
Read more: My transition to college as a deaf student
Messages for the “Hearing World”
Rasheed has several messages for the “hearing world.” It can be easy for the hearing world to not be aware of the struggles that the deaf community faces. However, that doesn’t make our struggles any less real, Rasheed says. She adds that missing out on conversation or social interaction can be a significant factor in the life of someone with hearing loss interacting with the hearing world. It would be helpful if the hearing world could better understand these challenges.
“Hearing impairment doesn’t show how weak or how delicate they are,” Rasheed says. “In fact, it shows how inspirational and powerful they are in overcoming their complications.”
Rasheed would also appreciate greater awareness about the challenge of masks during the pandemic, she says.
Read More: Tips for communicating with the deaf community when wearing a face mask
Impact of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss has shaped Rasheed’s life in numerous ways. She wrote about her journey toward self-acceptance after being diagnosed with hearing loss. Her experience helped transform a variety of skills. Understanding her hearing loss was difficult at first, making her feel insecure. Her hearing aids were something she felt she needed to feel ashamed about or hide. Eventually, she got tired of not feeling like she had a voice of her own. That defining moment allowed her to work toward embracing her hearing loss and speaking openly about it.
There are many aspects of her hearing loss that Rasheed is quite proud of. One of the core things she’s most proud of is never giving up despite the many obstacles that have crossed her path.
“No matter what complication you face, you should keep going on until you reach [your] dream,” Rasheed says. “My hearing loss journey wasn’t an easygoing process. It was HARD WORK! I kept going with DETERMINATION. And I have never been so proudly devoted to myself. I love to embrace my own beauty through talking about my experiences.”
“No matter what complication you face, you should keep going on until you reach [your] dream.”
On the positive side, Rasheed has developed strong will and resilience. She has also improved her problem-solving skills and ability to navigate difficult situations. All of this has led to taking on more responsibilities and an increase in confidence.
Read more: A thank you letter to my hearing loss
“As years went by, I started to accept myself,” Rasheed says. “Every day this self-love goes beyond! Instead of hiding and seeing hearing impairment as a flaw, I encourage myself to learn and explore more about [it]. This helps me respect and honor myself, and for others [like me] to better understand that they should value themselves every day. Every person is unique and creative in their own way! So embrace it.”
Read more: Hind Rasheed’s Essay